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Pharmacists OK’d to Test for Covid-19 in Move to Speed Access

April 8, 2020, 9:07 PM

Pharmacists can administer Covid-19 tests, the HHS announced Wednesday, expanding the workforce needed for rapid virus testing and cutting commute times to testing sites.

“The vast majority of Americans live close to a retail or independent community based pharmacy,” the Health and Human Services Department said in the guidance. “That proximity reduces travel to testing locations, which is an important mitigation measure.”

Serology testing is included in pharmacists’ new authority, which will be crucial to quickly reopen the economy and test patients who might be eligible to donate plasma for Covid-19 treatments. Those tests check a patient’s antibodies to help determine if they’re immune after they have had the virus.

The guidance also shields pharmacists from any liability that comes from administering tests, unless willful misconduct is involved.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jacquie Lee in Washington at jlee1@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Fawn Johnson at fjohnson@bloomberglaw.com; Peggy Aulino at maulino@bloomberglaw.com

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